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right now in "the cycle," presidents' day. the highest office in all the land. will they honor its commitment to immigration reform? >> should the next pope be a nun? new calls for radical change to the church. we'll dig deeper in the guest spot. >> today's "spin cycle" is nothing to oink at. i think we might be going somewhere with this. >> forget al capone or john gotty. america's arguably greatest gangster was hiding in plain sight for more than a decade. today the man who spent years on the trail, and will be in the courtroom this spring when whitey finally faces the music. and this oscar week, i'm heading to harvard to check out a class on quentin tarantino. lights, camera, action, you're on "the cycle" and you're only
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getting one date. are you enjoying your day off? is the peace and quiet warming your soul? save vour it, america. all about immigration. what is being called a back-up proposal from the white house has been leaked and contains elements that have already raised a ruckus, including an eight-year path to citizenship. a lawful prospective immigrant visa that allows people to leave and return to the country during the eight-year period and provisions for stricter border security and background checks for employers. the white house is denying they leaked the proposal. and it's just a back-up plan saying they prefer a bipartisan team come up with something that works of t works. as you expect, republicans quickly pounced. marco rubio already called it dead on arrival and then took a break for water.
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and senator rand paul had this to say. >> this is the president torp o torpedoing his own plan. when they come out and say my way or the highway and if congress doesn't ask i'll put it on the desk and say pass it now, that's no way to get it done. and then he'll blame it on us. but it seems to me to show that really the president really doesn't want immigration reform. >> the president doesn't want immigration reform. only in the bizarro world of congress can you be labeled not serious about an issue by proposing legislation specifically focused on that issue. thank you, senator paul. we need a voice of reason to sort all of this out. let's take it to the bank. dana millbank, columnist for "washington post," how are you, sir? >> good. you couldn't find a voice of reason so you had to come with me. >> he'll be here all week. so its president is talking about eight years to citizens p citizenship. this seems to be a fairly punitive measure, beaten ruin joe oto the punch.
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take eight years. is this part of why rubio is so upset, he can't be anymore punitive than the president has proposed? >> i don't think that's what's going on in rubio's mind. he's going to use this as an excuse, perhaps, to walk away from the plan that he's already beginning to put on the table there with chuck schumer and dick durbin and the others. i think this is a big mistake by the white house, if they it leak it. whoever leaked it should consider self deportation. because this is going to get them further away from the goal here. i think what rubio and the others are objecting to is in their provision, they have certain checks and balances, so that if border security is not in place, then the other thing doesn't go ahead. it doesn't appear that's in this plan, and that's probably why he's reacting this way. this thing is so delicate and sensitive, anything that's going to upset it as this does is really not helpful. >> why don't you take a little bit about why this was a bad move by the white house, if,
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indeed, they did leak this piece, and a lot of people say who else would have leaked it. but also want to talk about how republican lawmakers get their voters to come in line. because for a lot of voters, highly passionate issue. highly contentious. they are not going for the sort of amnesty plan, as they would call it. so how do republican lawmakers get their voters in line before hispanics join the democratic party as blacks did in the '60s and make it very difficult electorally in the future? >> well, it's a very delicate dance they've got to do here. and that's what rubio, mccain, lindsay graham, are doing with their proposal here. and they're getting hammered for it, to a large extent. and that's what i'm a little worried about, is rubio, because he's interested in 2016, is going to look for any excuse to walk away from this and say, well, i tried. there is a suspicion. if i can interpret what rand paul is saying into english, they have a fear that the democrats just want to use this
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as an issue to keep the latinos in their camp and not actually have an immigration deal, appear to have an immigration deal and not have one. so they can continue to solidify the latinos. >> dana, i guess the other way of looking at this from the white house is a stand point of this has to be adversarial when it comes to rubio's role in this. because he has sort of separated himself from what has been the republican mainstream on immigration for the last half decade or so, really going out on a limb. and if you look at the psychology of today's republican party, it's not let's team up with obama, let's give into obama, let's make concessions to obama. it's let's fight obama. so the more this looks like a fight between rubio and obama, where obama makes a totally unreasonable demand and rubio backs away and maybe come back together in a week or few weeks, maybe there is a long-term dance playing out here like that. >> steve, i think that would be the more benign way of looking at it. it's probably giving too much credit to think they actually
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skeemd it out that way. but let's look at this proposal. you've got these eight senators on board with here. already you've got all kinds of griping from house republicans about that proposal. which would tend to pull it more to the right. so if you're looking at it in that sort of mac vil anyway, yes, some sense in having the democrats but pull it left so we can all fight it out and wind up exactly where that compromise is in the first place. because that's the only way you're going to get this sort of thing done, is by having everybody on board like that. >> dana, let's go back to your first point of this potentially being a bad political move. i don't quite understand. and like you, apparently. i believe that this was probably a white house leak and' bad idea. i don't understand why, if they were pretty much reassured that both groups, the senate group and then the house working group, were making progress, and there's indication they were,
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why they would choose to insert themselves into such a delicate process, when they were assured that good work was being done. let me play this sound from "face the nation," white house chief of staff talking about it. >> we will be prepared with our own plan, if these ongoing talks between republicans and democrats up on capitol hill break down. there is no evidence they've broken down yet. we're continuing to support that. we're involved in those efforts by providing them technical assistance and providing them ideas. and i hope that republicans and democrats up there don't get involved in some kind of typical washington back and forth sideshow here. >> but they're getting involved in the sideshow, because the white house leaked this new plan. i don't get it. help me understand it. >> i think what we're talking about here is not one of these orchestrated leaks where the white house -- top officials at the white house are trying to float a trial balloon. this is a leak in the sense of something they didn't want, actually, to dribble out. you have david axelrod saying
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this looks like a mistake to have this out there. because, look, as i was discussing with steve, you can make an argument that you want to sort of give everybody some room to maneuver here by having something out on the left, something out on the right. but the truth of the matter is, this is sort of poisoning the well right now. and immigration is the one issue where there's some hope we can get something done. >> right. >> so i don't think anybody really really wants to blow this up just yet. >> dana, speak to that a little bit. how optimistic should we be we'll see immigration reform. i was feeling progress, i was feeling optimistic, but then when you have rubio come out and say this is dead on arrival and also seems to me the longer this debate hangs out there, the more hardened the sort of talking points against comprehensive immigration reform are becoming. so what do you think? what's your assessment? are we actually going to see some sort of a deal? >> i feel like whenever i predict we're going to see anything good happen, i'm always
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disappointed. so i would love to join in your optimism, but i'll believe it when i see it. after rubio and that group of eight senators came out with their plan, he got hammered by rush limbaugh and others like that. and he said, hey, look, nervously saying when president obama comes out with his plan, you know, and if the ultimate product is not like this, then i'm walking away from it. he's looking for the slightest excuse to walk away from it. and so he can say, i tried. and then he's back solid with the republican base. >> so dana, you think even if this particular white house proposal hadn't been leaked, rubio was getting cold feet and looking for a way to walk away from this? >> certainly he wants to have it both ways. he's clearly in the way he's articulated that to rush limbaugh and others, will look for an excuse to say he tried. >> dana millbank, thank for stopping by. >> might pleasure. up next, what newlyin sealed documents reveal about one of the most notorious gangsters of all-time.
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and i'm not talking about biggy smiles. we'll go inside the mind of alleged crime boss and killer, whi whitey bulger, next. with the spark miles card from capital one, bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business. take these bags to room 12 please. [ garth ] bjorn's small business earns double miles on every purchase every day. produce delivery. [ bjorn ] just put it on my spark card. [ garth ] why settle for less? ahh, oh! [ garth ] great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. here's your wake up call. [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? [ crows ] now where's the snooze button?
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i got this rat, this annoying [ bleep ] rat, and it brings up questions. you know, see, bill, like, you're the new guy. girlfriend. why don't you stay in a bar, at night i got your numbers.
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>> jack nicholson playing frank costello in the film "the departed." the character loosely based on one of the most notorious mob bosses, whitey bulger, wanted for 19 murders, drug dealing, money laundering and extortion. bulger fled boston back in 1994, sparking one of the biggest man hunts in u.s. history. he was number two on the fbi's most wanted list, behind only osama bin laden, and he remained on the lam for 16 years until he was finally captured in june of 2011, living with his girlfriend in a rent-controlled apartment in santa monica, california. joining us is dick lehrer who broke the story with the boston fbi as a reporter for "the boston globe," one of the formost experts, and author of a book, follow up to "black mass" which will be a movie starring johnny depp as whitey.
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thanks for being here, dick. i guess reading this book, one thing that jumps out at me, you have the whole story established in black mass about the aligns with the fbi and whitey and how the fbi basically let whitey become this notorious crime boss. but this is also a story about the failure of the political system over decades. you have whitey in federal prison for bank robbery in the late '50s, early '60s and there's the speaker of the house of the u.s. representatives, john mccormick, a guy from south boston. robert drinen, a congressman from massachusetts in the '70s as the dean of the boston college law school vouching for him. and his brother, billy, who was the most powerful politician in massachusetts for all these years. it seems like this is a story about politics as much as it is about the fbi. >> it is. when you look at the long life of whitey bulger, you end up opening doors into many other worlds, politics being a big one. and whitey bulger, when he was
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doing nine years in the federal prison system for robbing banks, he had advantage no other -- few other inmates, if any, had, and that's access to power through his brother bill. they were lucky enough to have one of the most powerful men in the country, house speaker john mccormick, advocating for him in terms of accelerating his way through the prison system. and that's the kind of thing that we were able to, you know, uncover and develop and put into the full life story of whitey bulger as a result of his vast prison life which had never been looked at before. >> and they get him out and then he goes right back to his old life and then becomes the top boss in boston, in new england, really. i wonder if you could tell us about the circumstances of his capture. towards the end of your book, you have fascinating stuff about his life in santa monica at this apartment complex where i guess there is this 25-year-old guy who had gone to boston university but didn't really know the bulger story and kind of latched on to this kid and
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would talk his ear off and eventually this kid plays a role in bringing him down. can you talk about how he actually was brought down two years ago? >> oh, sure. yeah. you're speaking about josh bond, who was a resident manager in whitey bulger's apartment complex and ended up living next door to whitey and his girlfriend, kathryn greg. and whitey, who was really hiding in plain sight as an ordinary-looking old guy, bald with a beard, struck up a friendship with josh, who had no idea who he was. but after -- in june of 2011, after the fbi tried a whole new round of public service announcements regarding america's most wanted gangster, the fbi zeroed in on whitey in the apartment complex, and they walked into the manager's office and showed a picture to josh and said "do you know in this guy" and he said sure, charlie gasco.
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yeah, and also whitey bulger. and in the next hour josh ended up paying a key role in the kind of making it up as they wept along, trying to confirm whether whitey was in the apartment and once they had done that, getting him to come out and come down to the basement garage. and it was a little bit of a surprising -- to see that a civilian and a young guy like josh bond ended up coming kind offing up with the ruse to get whitey out of the apartment when you had all of these seasoned fbi agents hovering about. >> i can't wait to read your book. steve is halfway finished and after he's done i'll have a crack at it. congratulations on that. >> thank you. >> but help me understand a little bit of whitey psychologically, one of the big reasons why he was able to stay in power and out of jail for so long, he was informing. working with the fbi for decades. and part of me understands this. it gives him a certain protection. and part of me does not understand, because it has no
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relation to what criminals generally do. what most criminals generally do. why was he informing, and was he perhaps aware of his longer game, because right now we have a judge opining on whether or not he's immune from the crimes he committed while he was informing. so perhaps there will be an extra dividend from being an informant. so just break some of that down for us. >> sure. yeah. i think you're getting at i think what makes, you know, whitey bulger probably the most significant crime figure in our time, if not the 20th century. you mentioned his body count. he's being charged with 19 murders, and there's probably more. you know, he can match body counts with any crime boss, dilling dillinger, gatti, anyone who is a virtual household name when it comes to american crime. but whitey did something no one else has ever done. and that's what you're getting at. he harnessed the power of a corrupt fbi in boston so they had his back for two decades or more. which is an amazing asset.
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if you're a crime boss and you can count on fbi agents to tip you off to investigations and what not, and to -- that other law enforcement or to the -- someone else in the underworld who is ratting you out, and then he becomes number one on your own hit list. that was the dynamic that whitey set in play that makes him epic and successful as a crime boss. he was -- he was brought into the fbi as part of their so-called top etch long informant program. but he quickly manipulated it so it was in his favor. and never gave them anywhere near as much value as he got from the fbi. that's what's so fascinating here in a historic sense, i think. >> dick, going back to the circumstances surrounding his capture, i understand a sort of racist, anti obama rant and his frequent use of the "n" word tipped josh and another woman in the apartment complex off to the fact that there was something off about this guy. but help me understand. he's irish-american, a member of
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a group that was historically persecuteded in this country, as well. what are the roots of that deep-seated racism that he apparently has? >> well, gosh. you know, that just -- that's part of whitey bulger and who he is. i'm in the sure it's necessarily, you know, his ethnic, his irishness. but he just came up that way on the streets of boston. and it obviously stayed with him in a hard way. and it was part of his undoing. he made a reference to -- it's a well-publicized story at this point, a woman from iceland who was a frequent visitor to santa monica where whitey was living and hiding in plain sight, had had struck up a friendship in santa monica over a stray cat that whitey and his girlfriend took care. they both liked pets. and liked cats. but what truly embedded whitey in this woman's mind, she had in one of their encounters, started talking in an admiring way about
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president obama. and whitey flipped out on her couldn't believe that she could admire a black han as being the stuff of the white house. and that just really stayed with her when you fast forward a couple years to june 2011 and she's hearing reports about, you know, this america's most wanted, and whitey bulger and his girlfriend. and it kicked right in for her between the cat and his racism. so it really in the end, you know, had a big part of his fall. >> dick, there's this weird phenomenon you talked about,der inger, where we lionize these fugatives who manage to evade capture for so long. tb cooper, bonnie and clyde. what was it about whitey bulger that made him such a compelling figure? i know the boston media gave him some cover for quite some time. you know, what was it about him? you say he wasn't actually a
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very nice guy. >> no, he's a monster. >> why did we latch on to him for so long? >> well, part of it was his longevity. he really had a long life in boston as an underworld figure. and for the longest time, and this goes until about the late ' 0s, and, you know, it's hard to go back in time and realize he was -- he was portrayed as a robin hood of his neighborhood. you know, a good/bad guy. he helped foster that by some of the things he did. but also the fbi that we now know was, you know -- his public relations arm for him. and putting that kind of thing out there. that he kept drugs out of his neighborhood, and the opposite was true. he was overseeing the high-flying '80s and cocaine that was just ruining south boston. so there's that piece of it. the sort of -- many faces of whitey bulger in terms of, you know, he's 83 now. he hung around. he wasn't just a one-case wonder or something like that. he rose to the top.
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he was bigger, more powerful than the mafia in boston and went through this unbelievable makeover when the unthinkable, you know, tumbled out in the late '80s that he was not only an informant for the fbi, but he had managed to turn the fbi into, you know, basically an extension of his gang. you know, it becomes mind-boggli mind-boggling. and he is responsible for an enormous amount of damage to the nation's, you know, top law enforcement agency of the fbi but also to, you know, countless number of families in so many different ways in boston. >> you know, it's one of these weird flukes with publishing. there are actually two new whitey bulger books coming out right now. but i've got to say, this one, folks, this is the one to read. dick lehrer and jerry o'neill have been on this story longer than any other reporter. if you are interested in whitey bulger, i couldn't give as high a recommendation. dick lehrer, thanks for joining us. up next is the answer to america's great political divide. bacon? >> yes.
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14%! who the [ bleep ] are these people? i hit the streets to find one of these elusive aprofessors. >> they're screwing it up. >> doing a terrible job. >> i haven't approved anything congress has done since -- perhaps 1970? >> stinks. >> statistically, there had to be someone who approved of congress. >> no. >> no. >> no, not at all. >> yes. >> what? >> yes. yes, i do. >> and there he was. >> he represents the 14%.
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an anomaly of sorts at a time of political polarization in this country. where both sides generally only agree on one thing, which is that the other one stinks. but facebook's latest attempt to unite like-minded americans may actually be on to something. somewhat controversial, because of privacy concerns. the graph search function allows members to isolate other members based on key words expressed in their public profiles. think of it like google for social networking. anyway, when he checked it out, "time" magazine's joel stein found a liberal who appreciate's rush limbaugh's opinions, a mother and gun control advocate who also likes the nra and a p.e.t.a. supporter who enjoys bacon and owns a vintage fur coat. what do these anecdotes tell us? perhaps maybe america isn't quite as divided as washington would have us all believe. then again, maybe we are. well, i think in general -- next
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topic. no. i mean, i do think most americans are able to see sort of both sides of an argument. and it is the rare person who believes in the ideal logically pure version. i think on gay rights we have moved in the direction of greater equality. but on some things like abortion and guns, i don't know that we have shifted so much as the political terrain and the way we're debating issues has shifted. typically, whichever party seems like it's further out on the extremes is the one losing the debate. so back when the abortion debate was more about things like late-term abortion, partial-birth abortion, allowing 12-year-olds to have abortions without parental notifications, democrats seemed further out there, so they were not doing well in public opinion. now that's shifted where we're arguing more about planned parenthood funding, republicans on a limb there. and i think also on the gun debate, for the longest time the
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nra was able to convince people liberals really wanted to confiscate everyone's guns, and democrats played into that by a large extent, arguing about whether the second amendment really guaranteed the right to own a firearm. now i think that we're focusing on specific proposals that people can wrap their heads around, that terrain has shifted. so i do think -- i'll save my rant on mandatory voting and how that would change things for the better for another day. but i think generally people are more sort of open to hearing both sides of the debate and not totally ideologically pure. >> we felt compelled to be tribalistic about politics. and there is probably a lot of reasons why we have done that. but i really like the idea of showing how contradictory we are within ourselves. how nuanced and complicated some of our beliefs and likes and interests are. and you know, it's hard these
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days, because it's important for many reasons for us to be team d or team r, team obama, team x republican and check boxes as you go down. when as you said, most of us aren't actually like that. and whether we admit it openly or not, most of us have complicated views on things. the fact that i'm like an athiest conservative who is pro gay rights and pro life, you know -- walking proof that we can have different ideas that you're not expected to have. and if facebook helps you sort of figure that out, even just among your friends, i think that's probably a good thing. >> yeah, it is. look, the sort of contradictions between when you start asking people about individual issues, you could go through any number of issues with a voter. do you think taxes on the rich, should they go up, down, a lot end up polling well and you'll say this is probably a democratic voter, probably a liberal. and find out they voted for every republican since coolidge.
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there used to be -- i think the problem i have, the reason i'm not so optimistic about this is that split-ticket voting has steadily been declining now for more than a generation. we're at sort of the lowest level ever in terms of people who vote for a democrat for president or libertitarian. that's not happening. a real sorting out of the parties, culturally, eat logically. you can have these conversations divorced, the republicans from this, the democrats divorced from that. and you'll get these funky mix of positions from people. but as soon as it returns to the political realm, i'm on team democrat, i'm on team republican and i'm going to work backwards from there. >> that's right. and there is this sort of intellectual gerrymandering in terms of where we get our information. so the source matters more than the actual information. if x source says something, for certain people it must be wrong and certain people it must be right and makes it impossible to communicate because it's like we're dealing with different sets of facts. >> well, if following our
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scintillating conversation has you feeling like you need a water break, fear not. marco rubio's pac, reclaim america is offering a marco rubio water bottle if you donate $25 or more. that's an expensive water bottle. we asked our facebook friends, by 2016, will this all be water under the bridge? our friend jennifer gregory wants to know if the water bottle comes filled with kool-aid. >> ouch. >> love her, jennifer. very clever. if you're thirsty to tell us what you think, head over to facebook/thecyclemsnbc. like us and join the conversation. and big, big twitter news, folks. i have gotten rid of the 1. i'm now@krystalball, period, end of story. say goodbye to@krystalball 1. there are challenging questions about where the church should go from here and meet a man who nearly became a priest himself but is now asking why do
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st. peter's square was the place to be this weekend as 50,000 jammed the square for one of the final appearances of pope benedict xvi. >> as soon as he resigned, i knew i definitely wanted to come and witness it. >> i'm proud to be an american and i wanted to let the pope know he's supported by all of us from america. >> the pope asked followers to pray for him and his successor, but as the world prepares for a new pope set to be installed by easter, our next guest says there's no point in calling a conclave, because the institution of the priesthood is entirely made up. with us now is "new york times" best-selling author and pulitzer prize winner gary wills. he spent five years in seminary and nearly became a priest himself but now challenges that basic tenet of the church in his book "why priests: a failed
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tradition." gary, i want to read back to you the first line of the "new york times" book review on your book, which reads "gary wills wants us to know that he really bears no animus towards priests. truly." and the point that you're making, of course, isn't an anti priest argument. it's a theological one that sort of suggests that maybe historically, priests weren't exactly the direction the catholic church was supposed to head in. and it's not really a new argument. you know, christians have argued for centuries over the role of the clergy and whether one needs a direct conduit to god. so just unpack your position a little bit for us. >> well, it's true. i'm a great admirer of priests and friends of them. and they can do anything. preach, teach, instruct catechism. st. paul had over a dozen ministries.
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healers. prophe prophets. none of those were priesthood. he never mentions priests. there are no priests. what set the priests apart from the rest of the body of christ, as if he were not part of that, was the idea that only he can consecrate bread and wine and make it the body and blood of jesus. well, even in the fifth century, st. augustine, my principle thinker hero, said, it's ridiculous to think that you're eating jesus when you take this. he said you don't eat jesus. you don't digest him. when he handed out the bread and said this is my body, it was a bond with him. but it was his body handing it out. his body was there. he didn't say eat my hand. eat the bread as a symbol of your union with me. that was augustine's attitude. and that continued to be the attitude of a number of people down through the middle ages until a tremendous revolt at the top started and all of these people were called heretics.
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there's a whole history of the middle ages, in which there is an assertion of power coming out of the new institution of the papacy saying that this is not simply a symbol. this is not an infigora, as they said, this is literal. and then in the 13th century, they got a very clever explanation. thomas aconfineis was in love with aristotle and said he distinguishes substance and accidents. you have a dog that is a substance. might be white, black, big, small. so you can see the substance is different from the accidents. but never said they could be separate. you can't have a dog who is no color, no size, et cetera. he has to have some accidents. what thomas came along and said, we can actually separate them. you can have substance of jesus and accidents of bread and wine, and they're totally separate. one doesn't invade the other. you just have to take that when you eat the accident, you get the substance.
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you're not really eating bread, you're eating jesus. >> would you be interested -- i guess speaking more practically, you know, i assume we're going to have priests for a long time, as long as we have the catholic church. in reforming the priesthood, opening it up to women, opening it up to married men, that sort of thing. do you think that's a good step maybe the church should be taking? >> well, i don't want to open up the priesthood to women. because i don't want priests. i want women to be teachers and leaders and counselors, and they are in my church. my catholic church. see, the problem is that if you are only a priest ordained from above, from bishops who are appointed by the pope, and tells you that you alone in that community are able to change these accidents, then the woman priest will be subject to all the kinds of disciplines and nonsensical directives that the males are. what we need -- see, all priests were originally chosen by their congregations and so are the
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bishops. ambrose, when they said in milan, we want you for your bishop, he said, i can't be that, i'm a secular ruler, not even baptized. i said, doesn't matter. we want you. now, they were the body of christ. and so he had to obey. the same was true of augustine. when he gave out communion, he said, "receive what you haare, e body of christ." so when they told him, you are the bishop, he couldn't leave. and bishops could not become popes, because they could never leave their people. they were wed to them. >> okay, gary wills, interesting stuff. thank you very much for joining us. >> my pleasure. up next, gearing up for t theors oscars with an unusual ha harvard class. even more surprising, they let torat roam their hallowed halls. we tease. we break out new behr ultra with stain-blocker
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>> the h. is silent. >> that's christophe walsh from "snl's" brilliant spoof of django unchained. nominated for oscars, this sunday. two of "django's" five oscar nods are there. completely over the top. he's undeniably a serious film maker dealing with issues of race and social justice and one who loves to challenge our boundari boundaries. i wasn't surprised to find that at harvard, jason silversteen is leading a course entitled "race, racism and quintenter en teeno." i knew i had to check it out. >> you want me to play a black slave? a black slaver is lord in the head house [ bleep ].
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that's pretty [ bleep ] up. >> then play him that way. give me your black slaver. >> so what's the value, jason, of a class like this about quinten tarantino in academia. why are we studying tarantino at harvard? >> to me, the idea, right, is that you -- i want to get the most people talking about how we talk about race. in society. for all the controversy, he generates, he's generating discussion. and i think that that's what great art is going to do. so even if you go to the film and you come away with this sense that this is doing more negative work than good, it's still doing good work in that it's getting people to start talking about how we can talk about race, how we can talk about slavery. >> sugar? >> yes, sir. >> dango isn't a slave. django is a free man, you understand? you can't treat him like any of the other [ bleep ] around here, because he ain't like any of the other [ bleep ] around here. you got it? >> you want us to treat him like
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white folks? >> no. that's not what i said. >> i really hate the "n" word discussion, right, but it is very persistent around his films. >> right. i can't really see there being much argument about using it in "django." as he sort of defended it to henry louis gates, you know, no one is saying that it was used more than it was used in 1858 mississippi. >> i count six shots [ bleep ]. >> i count two guns [ bleep ]. >> the word is there to show this sort of linguistic violence, i think, that was going on during slavery in addition to the physical violence. >> did you guys make a decision in the class, we're going to go with the "n" word, we're going to say it? >> even if the text calls for it, i think the first thing you have to discuss is to make sure that -- >> everybody is comfortable? >> and knows they can express they're not comfortable. >> one of the first things we did in the course was
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introducing our backgrounds, why it makes our perspectives interesting. as we got to talking, you can kind of feel this sense of understanding that was happening between each of us. >> remember me? >> tarantino is good for pea ls of blood and heads flying off. in django it has a place because slavery was violent. it was an uncomfortable situation so we should feel uncomfort 5 uncomfortable? >> was the violence too much? i think it's on par with other mainstream films in america. i think it's funny when people point to the violence in this as amoral or especially inciting or compelling people towards violence. >> of course, in the last three films he's done in kill bill and "inglourious basterds," he's dealing with clearly defined
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boundaries of good and evil. >> i'm in a theater with 40 people total, there are two white people and the rest are black. every kind of scene in which like a white person gets killed, there's essentially tearing. >> is white guilt supposed to make me forget i'm running a business? >> oh, it's like that, huh? >> the films of tarantino in particularly are extraordinarily rich in terms of ways of dealing with race and racist mid-america. jackie brown is totally in conversation outwardly. there's an interesting black/white relationship going on which is completely taboo in american cinema. >> oh, absolutely. i mean, this is a way to talk about the various ways that race and race simple just manifests in society, whether it's in your sort of low-life criminal type in reservoir dogs or whether it's buddies who are interracial friends.
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obviously vincent and jules in "pulp fiction" all the way up to django. i think it helps people see something familiar. people see something familiar from their own lives. >> it's interesting the way that, you know, slavery gets smooshed into our face here and we are just -- it was always the thing we didn't want to talk about, but now we can't stop talking about it. >> there's a west african proverb and it goes only when lions have historians will hunters cease being heroes. so how can we tell stories in order to be those historians for the lions, the people who have not had the voice and who not only have not had the voice but who have had their suffering silenced throughout history? >> all right. you know what goes together like harvard and tar rain tantino? marco rubio and tupac. don't get it? you will. iving bonus check?
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♪ >> i think tupac lyrics were probably more insightful in my opinion, with you will a apologies to the biggie fans. >> it's amazing how tupac has moved from political pariah to political friend used by vice president dan quayle when he said tupac's music has no place in society to someone used by presidential hopeful marco rubio to prove he's down. i suspect this says something about tipthip-hop and the gop. hip-hop once was symbolic of the
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destruction of america. once upon a time finding hip hohop on a politician's walkman was as bad as finding prostitutes. it makes me wonder if noz was right when he said hop hip-hop dead. tupac was a revolutionary. now his music is so mainstream it's acceptable for the crown prince of the tea party movement to say he loves pac even though he would surely vomit in his grave being used by a man who favors regressive taxes that would only add to our income inequality problems. rube know may be aware of that but he's also aware that the gop has a significant brand problem with voters under 40. many of whom are open to the party's economic ideas but

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The Cycle
MSNBC February 18, 2013 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 17, Whitey Bulger 14, Fbi 13, Boston 12, America 10, Rubio 10, Marco Rubio 5, Django 4, Tupac 4, Dana 4, Bjorn 3, Limbaugh 3, Mulligan 3, Whitey 3, Dick Lehrer 3, Garth 3, Obama 3, Augustine 2, Alka Seltzer 2, South Boston 2
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